Interview With Zhang Ya Ye, Ruan Ya Bao, Wu Wu

In this group interview, Zhang Ya Ye, Ruan Ya Bao and Wu Wu discuss their experiences as theater performers on fishing vessels in Xiamen, their encounters with Kuomintang soldiers at sea, and their troupe’s adaptation of a true story about the capture of Kuomintang sailors by mainland fishermen.

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Members of a theater troupe onboard fishing vessels in Xiamen Port, China, Zhang Ya Ye, Ruan Ya Bao and Wu Wu recall how their crew had a close shave with Kuomintang (KMT) sailors in June 1962. At the time, KMT troops often used  ropes to immobilize and draw in civilian vessels to interrogate the crew about the situation on the mainland. The interviewees’ vessel drew attention because they were carrying instruments and other props used for performances. In order to escape safely, the captain ordered that all the women on the ship cry to gain the sympathy of their KMT captors. After 2 hours, the KMT took pity on them and released their ship.

    In August 1965, the exact opposite occurred, when a crew of KMT sailors who had been defeated by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) naval forces were captured by mainland fishermen. However, the civilians noticed that their captives were injured and treated their wounds. This was later adapted into a popular propaganda play that was regularly staged by the interviewees’ drama troupe and others. They further explain that one of the sailors who had been captured and tended to, later made a trip to mainland China after travel restrictions were removed in 1987, to thank the surviving family members of the late captain of the ship that had arrested them in 1965.

  • Name of interviewee: Zhang Ya Ye, Ruan Ya Bao, Wu Wu

  • Interview by: Chen Xiuqin, Chen Yating

  • Interview script:

“迫入敌营”与《海上捕虏》

张亚叶:有一件印象很深的事情。当时,海峡两岸的关系很紧张,国民党的舰艇常常在海上对我们的作业渔船进行干扰。有一次,我们的船被国民党的舰艇拖住,因为剧团船带有宣传性质,大家赶紧把平常表演的道具藏得严严实实的,把锣鼓等都沉到海里,生怕被国民党兵发现。当时船上的人吓得半死,船上的老大就发话了,让船上所有的女人都一齐拼命地哭,大家哭了好久,国民党兵看我们可怜,大约两个钟头后,他们终于把绳索斩断,让我们的船开走。

阮亚宝:我们的渔船被国民党兵拖去,是1962年6月的事。因为我们的船上有锣鼓什么的,他们感兴趣。他们用铁索把我们的船套住把我们拉去问一些大陆的情况,比如说人民生活得怎样,社会群众对国家政策的反应等等,国民党的船就是现在我们在在电视上看到的大船,他们有一百多人,我们才二、三十个人。当时的船老大姓蔡,有五十多岁,他就叫亚叶等女人大声地哭。大概经过一两个小时,国民党兵才放我们走,当时遇到这样的情况,根本就来不及害怕。

张亚叶:我们公司创作过一个说唱节目,叫作《海上捕虏》,讲的是国民党兵被俘虏的故事。有一天在海上,国名党的救生筏出现了故障,停在那不能动弹,我们公司的几条船就靠过去,把国党兵提了回来,在那个特殊的年代,抓到俘虏的人都成了“功臣”因这一件事,我们创作了《海上捕虏》这个说唱节目,演出时,大家很爱看。记得这个节目还参加市里的文艺会演。只记得创作这个节目的编剧姓林,后来调走了。还有人把“海上捕虏”这件事写成通讯,《人民日报》都转载了,当时大家真是很有热情、很有干劲。

吴乌:“海上抓俘虏”是发生在1965年“八六”海战之后一两天。在海战中,我们解放军打掉了国民党的战船。解放军打掉了国民党的战船。之后一两天,有一个渔民叫作洪阳才,他在海上放竹排(一条母船有十几条竹排)时,发现有条救生筏,他马上摇回来告诉阮老大,说那边好像有情况,母船马上发信号叫来所有子船。母船很有策略,先围绕救生筏转了一圈,看看救生筏是什么情况,发现救生筏上有四个国民党军人,有士兵还有军官。当时大家决定由船老大和轮机长带着斧头和绳子,靠近救生筏,让他们不许动,举起手来,然后把他们弄上大船来。国民党兵被抓回来后,我们发扬人道主义精神,看到他们有伤,就赶紧帮他们包扎好伤口,看到他们冷,就拿衣服给他们换,还煮饭给他们吃。当1987年年底,蒋经国开放台湾老兵回祖国大陆寻亲时,就有一位老兵回到厦港,要找当时的那位船老大。1987年阮老大已经去世了,他就找到阮的亲人说:当时多亏你们救了我们的命,不然我们的救生筏是不可能划到台湾的,半路就会死。说起这件往事这个老兵还很激动。当时参加“八六”海战的是南海舰队,南海舰队为此专门开了个庆功大会,特意制作了一面大锦旗奖励我们。驻厦门的部队也开了大会,表彰我们全船的人,其中船老大和轮机长是一等功,其他人有四个二等功,六个三等功。

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Transcript Notes


  1. Biographical info: Zhang Yaye, female, a fisherman from the Shapowei fishermen's boat-dwelling family in Xiamen Port, formerly the stage pillar of Xiamen Ocean Fishing Commune Theatre Company; Ruan Yabao, female, a fisherman from the Shapowei fishermen's boat-dwelling family in Xiamen Port, formerly the head of Xiamen Ocean Fishing Commune Theatre Company; Wu Wu, female, former Secretary of the Party Branch of Xiamen Port Ocean Fishing Company. @Syahrul, paste in interview metadata

  1.  What does the KMT’s release of the civilian ship, and the crew of the fishing vessel treating the injured KMT captives suggest about human relations across political divides during the Cold War? Discuss its implications for the study of the Cold War in China, East Asia, and Asia more broadly.